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Listening to young people project: Involving young people as co-researchers in addressing their needs at TAIHS Lighthouse and beyond.

In this project we seek to prioritise the voices of young people to help inform future service delivery at Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service (TAIHS) Lighthouse. Literature has identified the importance of listening to marginalised young people, and the positive effects that their increased inclusion can bring to service delivery. In order to inform our future service delivery, young people will be invited to become co-researchers and will work to identify the needs of young people who are at risk of becoming involved, or who may currently be involved in juvenile justice systems. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2019) identifies that 5,513 young people aged 10 and over were under youth justice supervision on an average day in 2017-18. Queensland and New South Wales had the largest groups of young people under supervision (Qld 29%; NSW 25%, AIHW, 2019). While approximately only 5% of young people in Australia are Indigenous, almost half (49%) of those under youth justice supervision in 2017-18 were Indigenous (AIHW, 2019).

The grant will be used to support the proposed Participatory Action research including group meetings; recompense for young people's attendance; an Indigenous research assistant; transcribing of interviews; mentoring; and a contribution towards presentation of the findings at a national conference. This research project is a result of a research collaboration between practitioners at TAIHS, Sara O’Reilly and Nikkola Savuro, and the academic Social Work Group at James Cook University, Associate Professor Susan Gair and Dr Ines Zuchowski.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers